Girl, Dog, Trees (You)

posted in: Luv, Paean 6
"Girl, Dog, and Trees," by Bahniuk, 2007. Image: Panoramio via Wikipedia.
“Girl, Dog, and Trees,” by Bahniuk, 2012. Image: Panoramio via Wikipedia.



I wanted a picture of Las Vegas for this post.

But none of the photos of the strip were right. The glitter of the casinos and the vibrating neon lights didn’t strike me as “eternal” or “resilient” in the light of the mass murder, which is what I was hoping. I figured the lights would read as beacons of hope, but they didn’t. They frightened me. They made me feel sick.

Focusing was very difficult today because I kept thinking how the people who got down on the ground when they heard shots were doing exactly what we’re all supposed to do when someone is shooting because getting down on the ground is safer. But it wasn’t safer this time because the devil had scopes and cameras. This time, doing the safe thing was the wrong thing. Down was up; up was down. And death swept the ground.

If you know someone (or know someone who knows someone) who was wounded or who lost their life at the concert, I love you and I am sorry for this. If you don’t know anyone (or anyone who knows anyone) I love you, too, and I’m sorry for this.

Last night, in under 75 minutes, patchwork quilts generated $5,300.00 in Hurricane Maria relief aid. We did that. Together. And this should give you a deep hope, this act we did together. If we can turn quilts into food and medicine; if we can say “Yes” to the question, “Can you help me?”, we can make it. We can make it in the face of all this.

The picture I found for this post is more perfect than I could have hoped for: It’s Las Vegas. The image is filed in Wikipedia, right along with the pictures of the city, because Las Vegas isn’t just the strip or the casinos, of course: It’s the desert, the sky, the sagebrush, the sun. Las Vegas is a girl, running in pink shorts, giving chase to her dog across the little rocks, running to dinner, or her new baby brother, or to get to the hide-and-seek game.

Las Vegas is a little girl, 16 miles northeast of the city, running purely for the sake of going fast, for the sake of feeling the air on her soft, perfect cheek.